Online advertising has overtaken TV advertising for the first time, growing 4.6% to £1.75bn in the first half of 2009, according to a report.
The internet is now the biggest advertising medium in the UK, increasing £82m to gain a market share of 23.5%.
The online growth comes despite an overall contraction in the advertising sector of 16.6% during the first half of the year. Advertisers £1.64bn spent on TV advertising in the same period.
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The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) report also showed the technology industry is the biggest online advertising spender, accounting for 19.1% of the market. The telecoms industry was the next biggest, with 13.3%, followed by finance, entertainment and media, and consumer goods.
The figures come from the online advertising expenditure study from the IAB - the trade body for digital marketing - in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC).
Eva Berg-Winters, online advertising expert st PricewaterhouseCoopers said, "A slowing economy has accelerated the migration to digital technology and hence the continuing shift from more traditional forms of advertising to online, which promises return on investment and measurability in a period of instability." She said the change will demand fundamental structural change in business models across all industries.
The IAB said the growth has occurred in response to the higher numbers of people shopping online for internet bargains, as well as the growth of faster broadband in homes.
The fact that online advertising can be targeted directly at certain social groups, and have its success easily measured, adds to the attraction of the medium to marketing departments the IAB said.